The Republican National Committee (RNC), the voice of the nation's Republicans, should lead Republicans in condemning those who take actions against companies which support Republican causes.
The RNC should make public statements denouncing the behavior, conduct a public relations campaign, and, if the situation warrants, call for a boycott. The RNC must support and defend other Republicans when they are attacked. If the RNC does not do so, Republicans will continue to be targeted.
On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, DirecTV cut off Newsmax's signal from DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, and U-Verse. One year earlier, in January 2022, DirecTV chose to not renew its contract with another Republican-leaning news station, One America News Network (OANN).
DirecTV is a company and can decide, free from government interference, the stations that it wishes to carry. It is clear that the absence of Newsmax from DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, and U-Verse decreases the amount of people who can view Newsmax's Republican-leaning news coverage and opinion.
DirecTV's action, therefore, while constitutional, is a silencing of Republican views. Republicans are free to respond by cancelling their subscriptions to DirecTV and/or its parent company, AT&T.
Over the years, various companies have attacked entities which support Republicans. Private sector attacks against Republicans have increased in frequency over the years and more companies are taking part in these fights. It is more necessary than ever, therefore, for Republicans to respond when companies' actions affect Republicans detrimentally.
In November 2016, Kellogg's discontinued advertising on Breitbart News and breitbart.com. Breitbart responded by calling on its readers to boycott Kellogg's products.
In April 2021, Major League Baseball relocated the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver in a protest over Georgia's Voting Rights Law (which was passed by the Republican legislature and signed by a Republican governor.
Two hundred companies (including Microsoft, Uber, and United Airlines) signed a letter condemning election integrity laws such as Georgia's Voting Rights Law. Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines also issued statements attacking the law.
During the 2020 election and in its aftermath in 2021, some Republican law firms and lawyers lost business after representing either President Trump or Republicans.
In January 2021, Marriott International, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Dow Chemical, Hallmark and Verizon Communications paused political donations to those politicians who voted against certifying the 2020 Presidential Election (the pause did not focus on the Capitol riots).
In 2001, 2005, and 2017, however, these companies did not pause political donations to Democrat elected officials when these officials challenged the certification of the presidential elections in these years via the same procedures which Republicans utilized in 2021 (this video shows some of the Democrats who challenged the elections).
In January 2022, as mentioned above. DirecTV chose to not renew its contract with One America News Network (OANN).
While Congress cannot force DirecTV to carry Newsmax, Congress should hold hearings to determine whether the U.S. government influenced DirecTV's decision regarding Newsmax. Government interference into free speech (as opposed to a company's sole decision) is a violation of the First Amendment.
Recently, the U.S. government has taken action against communication companies, and it is possible that similar actions occurred with DirecTV regarding Newsmax. First, on February 2021, two Democrat members of Congress wrote to cable companies and essentially asked them to remove Newsmax, OANN, and Fox News Channel from their platforms. Second, as shown in the Twitter Files, government entities asked Twitter, a private company, to limit speech. These two events indicate that the possibility of government involvement in DirecTV's action is possible.
The RNC should mount a public relations campaign (and possibly call for an economic response) when companies take actions which harm Republican-leaning companies, Republican interests, and/or the dissemination of Republican news and speech. While companies are free to take actions which have harmful effects against Republicans, Republicans are free to respond to these companies' measures.
Indeed, Republicans must counter these behaviors to protect Republican companies and prevent similar events in the future.
Michael B. Abramson is a practicing attorney. He is also an adviser with the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. He is the host of the "Advancing the Agenda" podcast and the author of "A Playbook for Taking Back America: Lessons from the 2012 Presidential Election." Follow him on his website and Twitter, @mbabramson. Read Michael B. Abramson's Reports — More Here,
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